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A 26-page Manual, "H1N1 Influenza Management in Hotels,"
Provided by the AH&LA



Washington, D.C., September 4, 2009 – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) released today “H1N1 Influenza Management in Hotels,” a guide for lodging businesses to use in managing H1N1 influenza virus situations at their properties.
 
The 26-page manual gives hoteliers guidance for employees and guests who are afflicted with the H1N1 flu and other influenza strains.  It also covers basic sanitation practices to use when cleaning guestrooms and public areas.
 
The “H1N1 Influenza Management in Hotels” manual is divided into 10 areas:  
  • a basic introduction to H1N1 flu and its treatment, 
  • the need for a hotel response plan and its basic components, 
  • employee safety, what to do if a guest is ill, 
  • guest room decontamination, 
  • food services, 
  • guest and employee communications, 
  • severe pandemic flu planning, 
  • and a comprehensive list of Internet H1N1 flu resources.  Sample letters informing guests about H1N1 outbreaks, press releases, employee communication about H1N1 risks, and reporting possible illness are included.  
There is also a list of common hotel areas that should receive frequent decontamination, as well as a question-and-answer guide on H1N1 flu for employees.
 
The guide complements the work by public health authorities to inform Americans about H1N1 flu and what can be done by people to minimize the risks to themselves and others from this illness.  The basic recommendations to stay home from work if ill, frequent and thorough hand washing, cough etiquette, and area cleanliness are emphasized throughout the guide.
 
“Being informed and knowledgeable about today’s flu is one of the best vaccines hoteliers can use to protect their guests and staff,” said AH&LA President and CEO Joseph A. McInerney.  “This guide will help our industry develop plans to handle staff absenteeism, sick guests, room sanitation, and a number of other important areas they might encounter every day throughout this pandemic.  Leadership in a crisis depends on information, and this guide will help fill in the blanks about what to do.”
 
Current H1N1 flu news

As of September 2009, the disease continues to afflict more people each day in the United States, but fortunately it has been a milder strain of influenza than first feared.  Read via the link a September 3 CDC assessment of the just-ended 2009 H1N1 flu season in the Southern Hemisphere.

This current strain of influenza H1N1/A virus is suspected to have originated in North America.  In late April 2009, a significant number of H1N1, or (swine) influenza type A, cases were reported to sicken people in North American cities.  The disease appeared first in Mexico and its capital, Mexico City.  Since then, it has spread to other countries and continents, including the United States, triggering a pandemic outbreak of influenza, the first since 1968. 

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - This Website has current U.S. flu news and H1N1 infection statistics
  • World Health Organization - This UN body reports on current world H1N1 infection rates.   On May 6, the WHO recommended no restrictions on travel as a result of H1N1 flu outbreaks.  This policy continues to this day.
In July 2009, the U.S. government held a H1N1 Flu Preparedness summit.  At the conference, the government announced that it would begin a vaccination program for higher-risk persons this fall, most likely in mid-October.  It also announced that the government's new H1N1 Website, www.flu.gov, was open and encouraged all Americans to visit it for more information about what they should do to prevent sickness and infection.  The meeting also brought together state and local public health officials and emergency planners to discuss the coordinated national reaction to this pandemic threat.

AH&LA’s resources on this year’s flu situation also includes a Webinar on H1N1 flu and industry practices.  The September 29 Webinar will provide the latest H1N1 news to hoteliers, as well as answer many of the questions emerging from this public health situation.  
 
The “H1N1 Influenza Management in Hotels” manual can be downloaded as an Adobe PDF document from www.ahla.com/flu.  

Serving the hospitality industry for nearly a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom-line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.  For more about AH&LA, visit www.ahla.com.
 

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Contact:
 

Robert Baylor
rbaylor@ahla.com 

 

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Also See: The World Health Organization Pandemic Alert is Currently at Phase 5 - with Level 6 Officially Representing a Pandemic; WHO Terminology and its Classification System Under Review to Avoid Unnecessary Alarm / May 2009
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